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Largest health insurer to keep key parts of law regardless of court ruling

June 11, 2012

Largest health insurer to keep key parts of law regardless of court ruling from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/largest-health-insurer-to-keep-key-parts-of-law-regardless-of-court-ruling/2012/06/10/gJQA7VYfTV_story.html?tid=pm_pop By N.C. Aizenman, Monday, June 11, 12:11 AM The nation’s largest health insurer will keep in place several key consumer provisions mandated by the 2010 health-care law regardless of whether the statute survives Supreme Court review. Officials at UnitedHealthcare will announce Monday that whatever […]

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services releases Essential Health Benefits Bulletin

January 6, 2012

On Monday, Dec. 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a bulletin outlining guidance to states on implementing Essential Health Benefits (EHBs).  As you may recall, the Affordable Care Act will require individuals to have insurance coverage by 2014.  Individuals and business may purchase health insurance in a state based “health […]

Advisory Panel Releases ‘Essential Benefits’ Report

October 7, 2011

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its report of recommendations to the United States Department of Health and Human Services regarding what health benefits should  be provided by insurance plans under the Health reform law – the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   The ACA requires states to set up an health insurance market place or exchange by […]

Understanding the Debt Ceiling and the “Super Committee”

September 9, 2011

In early August the President signed into law the Budget Control Act of 2011, which is reported to save approximately $917 billion over the next ten years and will raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion, therefore carrying the government through the end of 2011. The bill also establishes a new joint Congressional committee that […]

So Far, Exchanges Are a ‘Mixed Bag’ for Patients, Group Says

July 6, 2011

By John Reichard, CQ HealthBeat Editor The health care law will disappoint many Americans if its health insurance exchanges don’t deliver decent coverage at affordable rates for consumers, including those with serious illnesses like cancer. Meeting those expectations may be difficult, judging from comments by a major patient advocacy group as it waits for the […]

Health Insurance Exchange Regulation Due Out July 7

June 29, 2011

CQ HEALTHBEAT NEWS By John Reichard, CQ HealthBeat Editor   The Obama administration plans to release its proposed regulation on state health insurance exchanges July 7. The rules governing the establishment of the exchanges, which under the health care overhaul law begin operating in 2014, are much anticipated by state lawmakers, insurers, employers and consumers. […]

New Study Highlights Problems Accessing Specialty Care for Children on Public Insurance

June 17, 2011

  New England Journal of Medicine Auditing Access to Specialty Care for Children with Public Insurance June 15, 2011 Joanna Bisgaier, M.S.W., and Karin V. Rhodes, M.D. Evidence suggests that the 37 million children covered by Medicaid-CHIP are less likely to receive specialty care than children covered by commercial insurance. Children covered by Medicaid-CHIP may face greater […]

Oregon Governor Expected to Sign Exchange Bill

June 10, 2011

CQ HEALTHBEAT NEWS June 9, 2011 – 2:43 p.m. By Jane Norman, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor   Health insurance exchanges aren’t stalled everywhere. Oregon’s legislature this week passed bipartisan exchange legislation and the governor is expected to sign it. “I look forward to signing this key piece of our health care improvement agenda,” Gov. John Kitzhaber, […]

Medicaid call-in days next week

June 10, 2011

From Our Friends at Families USA! With both the House and Senate in session next week, we expect the debate about how to reduce the deficit to be front and center. We hope you join us in asking your members in the field to call their U.S. representative and senators and urge them to reject Medicaid cuts, in any form. […]

State Legislators Tussle Over Health Benefit Exchanges as Adjournments Near

May 18, 2011

CQ HEALTHBEAT NEWS May 18, 2011 By Jane Norman, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor As state legislatures near the end of their sessions, many lawmakers are still struggling with whether to approve measures to set up health-benefits exchanges created under the health care law — and it appears almost certain work in many states will extend […]

States Don’t Necessarily Have to Pass Laws to Prepare for Exchanges, HHS Officials Say

May 6, 2011

By John Reichard, CQ HealthBeat Editor Health and Human Services officials have encouraged states over the past year or so to act sooner rather than later to pass legislation governing the creation of health insurance exchanges — without going out of their way to suggest that there’s another approach. But officials confirmed to CQ HealthBeat […]

Guest Blog: Social Security Disability

May 2, 2011

  Jennifer C. Jaff, Esq, Executive Director of Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc. Reprinted with Permission.   We get a lot of questions about Social Security disability.  The most common question we get is whether there’s any way to speed up the process.  The truth is that, if you’re denied at the initial […]

FDA Commissioner Testifies before the Senate

March 18, 2011

CQ HealthBeat Senator Blunt (R-MO) specifically asked  Commissioner Hamburg about the speed of drug approvals and the idea of imposing user fees for the first time on generic drug companies. The administration proposed adding $40 million in user fees for generic companies in its fiscal 2012 budget. After the hearing, a reporter asked Hamburg for […]

HHS defends the CLASS Act

March 18, 2011

CQ HealthBeat A top Health and Human Services official pledged at a House hearing, Thursday that a long-term-care program included in the health overhaul law won’t be launched unless it is financially sustainable. Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging at HHS, testified on behalf of the agency. Greenlee also defended the $120 million requested by […]

Focus of the Month: Key parts of the Affordable Care Act take effect in 2011

February 3, 2011

At least 21 different provisions in the new federal health insurance reform law go into effect during this year. Some of the most relevant measures include: Higher Medical Loss Ratios, Closing the Medicare Drug Coverage Gap, Eliminated Cost-Sharing for Medicare Preventive Services, Creation of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Disclosure and Review of Health Insurance Premium Increases, Funding for Health Insurance Exchanges, Funding for Medical Malpractice Demonstrations…

Institute of Medicine Hears from Stakeholders on Essential Benefits

January 14, 2011

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is undertaking a study that will make recommendations on the criteria and methods for determining and updating the essential health benefits package in health care reform. As you may recall, HFA submitted comments to the initial survey conducted in December. The outcome of this study will be a published report […]

Consumer Insurance Survey

November 23, 2010

Health care reform will have a profound impact on persons with bleeding disorders as health insurance companies take steps to comply with various insurance market reform provisions. However, changes stemming from the health care reform law are only one piece of the health care coverage puzzle.  In light of these challenges, the Hemophilia Federation of […]

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Submits Medical Loss Ratio Regulation Recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services

November 5, 2010

The Affordable Care Act requires that 80-to-85% of the money collected by insurance companies be spent on health care services and health care quality improvement.  Otherwise known as the Medical Loss Ratio, the intent of the provision is to ensure that more of the money enrollees pay each month for insurance premiums will go toward […]

The Center for Medicare Advocacy Examines Changes to Medicare Part D

October 13, 2010

The Medicare Part D annual election process is quickly approaching it runs from  November 15 – December 31.  CMS projects that for 2011, 1.2 million beneficiaries will have to change plans as a result of their current plans leaving the market or reducing their service area. According to the Center for Medicare Advocacy, this a […]

Commonwealth Fund webinar on Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans focuses on Wisconsin and New Mexico

October 7, 2010

The Commonwealth Fund hosted a webinar on the Affordable Care Act provision on establishing temporary high-risk pools, also called Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs). PCIPs are designed to quickly make health insurance available to uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions, many of whom previously had been denied coverage. PCIPs are a temporary measure until 2014 when the health […]

New York Governor David Paterson signs S. 5000-B into Law!

October 7, 2010

S. 5000-B gives the New York State Insurance Department the authority to deny requests from insurance companies to create specialty drug pricing tiers, also known as Tier IV drug pricing.  These types of tiers have been used by insurance companies in other states to require patients to pay higher co-payments and co-insurance based on the […]

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) holds 2010 Fall Health Braintrust

September 24, 2010

The 2010 CBC Fall Health Braintrust: “Working Together to Ensure Appropriate Health Care Reform Implementation” highlighted the importance of appropriate implementation of key health care reform provisions in improving the health, health care and wellness of all currently underserved individuals and communities. The Health Braintrust was held during the 2010 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual […]

Center for American Progress Marks Six Month Anniversary of Affordable Care Act

September 24, 2010

The Center for American Progress held a panel discussion of health insurance experts to examine what new consumer protections have already been implemented and what changes the American public can expect in the health insurance market in the very near future. The discussion also underscored the major role the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) […]

Stand Up For Healthcare!

September 23, 2010

Hemophilia Federation of America’s Public Policy Director, Kisa Carter was invited by Families USA to participate in a blog series on the Stand Up For Healthcare website that highlights the 6 month signing of the new health law. Other organizations participating in the blog series include: Young Invincibles, Health Access California, Mom’s Rising, National Physicians Alliance, Advocacy […]

Mathematica Center on Health Care Effectiveness – “Politics and Policy of Comparative Effectiveness: Looking Back, Looking Ahead”

September 10, 2010

On Thursday September 9, the Center on Health Care Effectiveness held its inaugural Issue Form: “Politics and Policy of Comparative Effectiveness: Looking Back, Looking Ahead”  The forum examined: the creation of the new center at Mathematica, what is Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER)  and how health care reform will influence the future of comparative effectiveness in […]

Kaiser Family Foundation holds forum on Medicare, Healthcare Reform and People with Disabilities

September 9, 2010

On Wednesday September 8, the Kaiser Family Foundation held a forum examining the health care issues facing people with disabilities and the opportunities and challenges presented by the new health care reform law enacted earlier this year.  The discussion explored the changes in health reform that could affect access to affordable health care for people […]


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